For instance, Boris Kustodiev, a famous Russian painter was born in 1878 in Astrakhan, one of the biggest trading town on the Volga River. His life and art works are inseparably linked with his expression of his love and admiration of the strengths of Russian people. He recorded in his painting a lot of scenes of folk culture. The tea was a symbol of prosperity and richness. In the series of "Merchants' wives drinking tea" you can see how Russians lived in the provincial town on the Volga river in the 19 century.
On the top of the samovar there is a tea pot with concentrated tea called "заварка" ( zavarkа). The samovar is where water was boiling. "Zavarka" is poured into the cup, after that it is filled up with hot water. The tea can be made as strong as one wants.
The tea was poured into cups, and from the cups into the saucer to cool down. They drunk tea slowly and respectfully with sugar, honey, lemon or jam and pastries.
Watermelons are on the table because Astrakhan is a center for the best watermelons in Russia. All these scenes make us feel the atmosphere of the quiet life of wealthy merchant wife.
Another Russian way to drink tea is to take a spoonful of your favorite jam with each sip of black tea or even better, take a small piece of chocolate with a sip and enjoy it melting in your mouth.
No need to worry or be in the hurry, just enjoy the moment !